A controversial Dinosaur Festival event has been cancelled over the weekend, leaving hundreds of Hunter families out-of-pocket.
The company behind the event cancelled the event the same morning it was set to go ahead, claiming that muddy conditions at Wallsend Park made it unsafe.
It said on Friday, the Festival would be cancelled for that day only, and tickets were being still sold being for the weekend into the evening.
It’s understood at least some of the exhibits and amenities were set up.
The festival made a statement on social media on Saturday morning, claiming it was not liable because the poor conditions at the site were out of its control.
The company’s claiming ticket-holders aren’t entitled to a refund.
It was scheduled to go ahead February last year, but the festival has been postponed on a number of occasions, prompting Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery to contact the Fair Trading Minister earlier this year.
She says families deserve better, especially with current cost-of-living pressures.
“We’re looking at $50 plus, sometimes hundreds of dollars per family,” Ms Hornery said.
“I don’t agree with the fact that it’s out of their hands, that they can’t provide a refund to people when they have made the decision to cancel yet again.”
It’s understood, a small number of people have managed to secure a refund over past postponements.
The company maintains the Dinosaur Festival is a legitimate event.
Ms Hornery says the Fair Trading Minister needs to step up.
“We had warned people on Facebook to very careful about it all, that Dinosaur Festival seems to take advantage of people’s goodwill and the fact that people want to get out and take their family to an event,” Ms Hornery said.
“It’s really concerning that they continue to do this, and it’s even more concerning that the State Government is letting this organisation get away with not doing the right thing by the community.”
Dinosaur Festival Australia has been approached for comment.